Looking down the hill you see a cemetery. If you drove through or walked through this cemetery you'd see lots of Polish names. The red brick building on the left is "The Nunnery". My daughter lived there for 2 years. No, she's not a Nun. In 1925 Father Stanislaus Wikarski saw the need for a new Parish in Dundalk (Baltimore, Maryland) to administer to the every growing Polish population in the area. The area had been called Graceland Park Area. The population was growing due to workers needed for Bethlehem Steel, and large numbers of people working and living at Fort Holabird, a military installation.
Suitable land was found and construction began in January of 1926. A school with 9 classrooms, housing for The Sisters, and Church were constructed. In June of 1927, Sisters from Pennsylvania arrived and school began with 5 students the following September. Above picture is the current Parish.
By 1950, 600 pupils in 11 classrooms were being taught by The Sisters. In 1959 a new Convent was built. Through additional growth, more building was needed. In June of 1965 a new building housing 24 classrooms, a library, nurse facility, faculty work rooms, and offices was constructed. Enrollment stayed high throught the 50's, 60's, and 70's averaging 500-600 students. (above picture is one of the small but pretty stained glass windows in the chapel at The Nunery.)
In 1980 Fort Holabird closed, and the decline in enrollment was noticed. Bethlehem steel closed, and futher loss in enrollment took place. By the 90's enrollment barely reached 300. Grade level classes were combined in an effort to save money. In 1999 The Sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth left the school and closed the convent. This ended their long dedicated service to the community of 73 years. (large dining room in the convent/nunnery).
A program similar to Teach America called Operation Teach run by The Catholic Church serves many under privileged areas in Baltimore. In exchange for their education, teachers teach in need based areas for 2 years. They're paid a small stipend and live in community housing like this closed Convent/Nunnery. The teachers pay rent to The Parish. The birth of Catholic Education began in Baltimore, and so the tradition of educating the masses continues.
**This is my N post for Z-A Challenge**